The truth is that the legal and cultural environment which would facilitate the investigative journalism after which Mr. Thompson so plainly yearns simply does not exist at present in Barbados. First, the concept of freedom of access to information which would permit journalistic reference to official documentary as opposed to merely anecdotal evidence still awaits parliamentary sanction; second, it is still the case here that the threat of a suit for defamation operates as an effective chill on publication, given the reluctance of the media houses to become embroiled in the complexities of defamation law; and third, perhaps owing to the first two, there is no history of conviction or indeed even trial for political graft in these parts. In such a context, the journalist can scarcely be blamed for a reluctance to meddle into these affairs of state.
Of similar vein is the probable explanation for the alleged silence of the “editorial writers and columnists” berated by the Prime Minister. While Mr. Thompson and his Cabinet are to be commended for having transacted the people’s business with nary a whiff of corruption for over one year now, the reality is that even if perchance they had engaged in such dastardly acts, there would be none capable of proving it. And in the absence of integrity legislation there is no legal compulsion to act ethically, never mind the improbability of any sanction being applied.
… from the Barbados Advocate editorial Responsible Journalism
Barbadian Newspapers Silent On Witness Threats & Intimidation
The editorial of the Barbados Advocate is laughable considering some of the stories we’ve covered over the past three years…